Stolen AT&T smartphones get lockdown sequence

Starting on July the 10th, AT&T customers who've had their iPhone, Android, or any other smartphone stolen will be able to take action in a way that's totally new to the carrier. AT&T is currently near ready to launch a stolen phone database with which they'll be able to cut out voice, data, and SMS messaging from devices reported stolen while maintaining their overall account. This service will be spreading to other carriers soon as AT&T and Verizon, amongst others, have agreed to be part of an FCC pact to make this database a reality.

This database of stolen devices will eventually be working on at least the top four carriers in the United States, while starting in under a week here in the summer of 2012, it'll be started up on AT&T first. Lockdowns will supposedly occur basically instantaneously once a theft is reported, but the possibility that users will then later be able to unlock the device should they recover them remains unknown.

An AT&T spokesperson spread the message thusly earlier today:

"As announced in April, AT&T is creating a stolen phone database to prevent devices reported stolen from accessing wireless network. We will install this availability next week for AT&T phones on our network and are working toward a cross-carrier solution later this year." – AT&T

Check out the timeline below to see other recent FCC activity to keep up to date with all of their dealings – and watch out, villains, you're about to get locked down on.